Monthly Archives: November 2011

CRASHERS lands in England!

My friend Hannah at St. Martin’s writes: ‘Well it’s taken a little while to retrieve the book from Australia, but I’ve finally gotten my hands on one precious copy of the international edition of CRASHERS. I’ll send it on to Dana today. We were not so lucky as to get two copies — We couldn’t get more copies because it apparently sold like crazy in England, so that’s good, right??”

Okay, first: LOVE HER!

Second: the book sold “like crazy in England?” Holy @#$%&!

And Hannah, bless her heart, ends the e-mail with “…so that’s good, right?”

Aye, love. That’s good.

An Irish boy like me shouldn’t be too thrilled to do well in England but damn it, I am. My mom’s an Anglophile. She’ll be over the moon.


Good Morning, North Carolina

I’m doing long-distance radio interviews this month to support BREAKING POINT. These are sort of surreal.

Today, it’s 10 minutes on “The Buddy Poole Show” on WSAT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina.  WSAT is called an “adult contemporary soft” music station – and no, I don’t know what that means – as well as the voice of UNC Tar Heels football and basketball.

I’ll call the studio about 6:50 a.m. (Pacific Time, thank the gods…) to see what Buddy Poole has to say about my novel.

How Much Is That Writer In The Window?

Any one up for a post-Thanksgiving, post-Black Friday bit of a laugh? I’ll be in the window of Murder By The Book, 3210 S.E. Hawthorne, from 11 a.m. to noon today, working on my next novel, which is due in January and which has the working title, “What Kind Of An Idiot Writes In a Retail Window?”

I mentioned it was a working title, right?

It’s all part of National Novel Writing Month, which is so nutty an idea, you know I didn’t make it up.

(By the way, I missed National Opera Writing Month, but I did try to get you a card.)

Up next for MBTB’s window? The prolific Bill Cameron, author of “County Line,” “Day One” and “Chasing Smoke”. Unlike Bill, I shall be doing my hour in the window fully clothed.


WWSD? (Would Would Sondheim Do?)

I have had speaking engagements almost every night for the last week or so. Katy King and I were debriefing last night (enter joke here) and agreed that the headiest moment, always, is when you prepare a joke, punch it out, and get the laugh.

Nothing … nothing … compares to that.

You set it up. You take a beat. You do a bit (hand gesture, eye roll…) and then you punch it.

And the audience laughs.

I’ve had the lyrics to Stephen Sondheim’s “Comedy Tonight” (from my idol, Larry Gelbart’s, brilliant “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum”) running in my head for the last 12 hours:

Something familiar, something peculiar
Something for everyone: a comedy tonight
Something appealing, something appalling
Something for everyone: a comedy tonight
Nothing with kings, nothing with crowns
Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns
Old situations, new complications
Nothing portentous or polite
Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight

Something convulsive, something repulsive
Something for everyone: a comedy tonight
Something aesthetic, something frenetic
Something for everyone: a comedy tonight

Nothing with gods, nothing with fate
Weighty affairs will just have to wait
Nothing that's formal, nothing that's normal
No recitations to recite
Open up the curtain, comedy Tonight

Something familiar, something peculiar
Something for everybody: comedy tonight
Something that's gaudy, something that's bawdy
Something for everybawdy: comedy tonight

Nothing that's grim, nothing that's Greek
She plays Medea later this week
Stunning surprises, cunning disguises
Hundreds of actors out of sight

Pantaloons and tunics, courtesans and eunuchs
Funerals and chases, baritones and basses
Panderers, philanderers, cupidity, timidity
Mistakes, fakes, rhymes, crimes
Tumblers, grumblers, bumblers, fumblers

No royal curse, no Trojan horse
And a happy ending, of course
Goodness and badness, manifest madness
This time it all turns out all right
Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight

Sisters In Crime!

Hipster, much? I look like I should be playing a jazz set in the Lower East Side dive. Sheesh. (Photo by Katy King)

The Portland Chapter of Sisters in Crime drew about 50 people last night, despite nasty weather, for a speaking engagement. What a great crowd! Also thanks to Murder By The Book for shlepping boxes of books through the rain.

That was a blast. Thank you, everyone!

Gut Yontif!

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